Indianapolis Homicides Up; People “Scared Of Each Other”


A bloody spate of homicides continues in Indianapolis’s Marion County, reports the Indianapolis Star. Police say 32 people have been killed in violence in the first quarter of this year. They investigated 28 homicides in the first quarter of 2006, the year that ended with an eight-year high of 153 homicides. This year’s total is four victims short of the 36 people killed in the first quarter of 1998, the year when a record 162 people were killed in homicides “These numbers are sad,” said Kenna Quinet, a criminal justice professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. “This is happening in other cities across the U.S. in part because homicides had reached an all-time low; odds were that it would increase.”

“These homicides are occurring in clusters, in certain parts of the city,” said Quinet, co-author of book on homicides, ‘The Will to Kill.’ The average person is not at risk, unless they live in a violent domestic relationship.” Many believe that societal problems contribute to the violence, including bad parenting, violence in the home, poverty, drug abuse, and a lack of investment in troubled neighborhoods. “Our community has lost the connection with each other,” said Byron Alston, a former gang member and now director of Save the Youth, a ministry that offers basketball leagues, a drum line team and computer-skills programs as an alternative to violence. “It used to be everyone knew everyone. Now there’s no communication. Everyone’s scared of each other.”


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